"One of the most thoughtful and honest accounts ever written by a young Army officer confronting all the tests of life." -Bob Woodward In this surprise bestseller, West Point grad, Rhodes scholar, Airborne Ranger, and U. S. Army Captain Craig Mullaney recounts his unparalleled education and the hard lessons that only war can teach. While stationed in Afghanistan, a deadly firefight with al-Qaeda leads to the loss of one of his soldiers. Years later, after that excruciating experience, he returns to the United States to teach future officers at the Naval Academy. Written with unflinching honesty, this is an unforgettable portrait of a young soldier grappling with the weight of war while coming to terms with what it means to be a man.
Craig Mullaney grew up in a blue-collar, Irish-Catholic family in Rhode Island and graduated from West Point in 2000. An Airborne Ranger, Mullaney earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. In 2003, he led an infantry rifle platoon along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. His platoon operated along the entire spectrum of operations--from humanitarian assistance to combat engagements against Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Mullaney was later selected to join the Old Guard, the Army's elite honor guard for Arlington National Cemetery. He served three years on the history faculty of the U.S. Naval Academy, focusing on the history of American foreign policy. Mullaney's military awards include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Medal, and Army Commendation Medal with "V" device for valor. He was an adviser on the Obama-Biden campaign and is now a member of the President-elect's Transition Team.